Friday, May 3, 2013

Talking about R

An elderly mother of a special needs adult woman, told me how difficult it was living in a small community.

While she and her friends had children at the same time – their children kept growing and progressing – while her daughter stayed eternally 10 years old

Then those peers had younger siblings who also grew up and passed her by.

Then those peers had children

Then those peers children turned 11

You get the drift

I am thinking of this mother as I sit at a work event when friends and colleagues are talking about their children – the same age as R

Nobody is boasting but their world is so different than mine

Their World: Soccer, talking back, interest in the opposite sex

Our world: OT, PT, ST

I used to find these conversations uncomfortable.

I used to wonder how to participate

In the way unwillingly-single women feel around couples – (those that Bridget Jones calls the smug-marrieds.)Like their way to be is the right way to be.

But I always remembered this conversation with that elderly woman and I had sworn then that I would try to not be that way 

This was before I was the mother of an special needs child

And when I became one - I really understood what she meant - and how important it would be to not have these feelings

And so  I practiced my way out of it

They talked about their kids and I talked about mine

The more I talked, the easier it got

I talked about his oddness, his brilliance, his sweetness, his obsessions, his mama’s-boyness, his autisticness

I talked about our struggles with finding the right schools, his love of kiddie shows,

The 5 things he will eat and his passion for flashcards  

And guess what - no one seems bored.

There are no awkward silences

No looks of pity

I listen to their tales of lacrosse and they listen to my tales of Floortime

And we find things in common.

 I think it’s an important skill to have.

While the kinship we have with parents of special needs kiddos is so important, we will lose out on many important relationships if we keep ourselves away from the non-special needs world

Its not just about looking comfortable in conversations with the non-special needs world

But it also trickles down into how we feel about our life

Like an outsider or an insider

Grateful or resentful

Proud or ashamed

"The mind is everything
 
What you think
 
You become "
 
Buddha

 


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K writes about Love Life and Autism at  Floortime Lite Mama

23 comments:

  1. This is really lovely, and describes perfectly the two worlds we walk in. As a parent of one special needs child and one typical, I manage this divide all the time and try not to compare. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it seems nearly impossible.

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  2. A thoughtful and beautiful post.
    I am a true believer in "what you think, you become"

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  3. I really liked this a lot.

    "They talked about their kids and I talked about mine

    The more I talked, the easier it got

    I talked about his oddness, his brilliance, his sweetness, his obsessions, his mama’s-boyness, his autisticness"

    I feel that way about Lily. The more I talk about her the less I feel that..."otherness".

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  4. Facebook has been a fantastic thing in my life - I don't get to see my old friends often - most live very far away and we all have busy lives that make it hard to do road trips (let alone the expense) - so Facebook became a lifeline to get in touch & stay in touch.
    Then my son was diagnosed with Autism & I found that there's this huge wonderful community out there - both on blogs and on Facebook.
    And I still manage to have a great connection with my friends who have NT kids - we root on each other's kids - whether or not it's for their sports events, recitals or my son's eating of a new food. There doesn't have to be a wall.

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  5. I am working so hard to get to the beautiful place you talk about here... "And we find things in common." is my wildest dream right now.

    I'll get there eventually.

    Thank you so much for sharing. This is a beautiful piece that came at a perfect time for me. :-)
    Thanks for the reminder.

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  6. My R has autism too. He has an older brother who does not. I really like your post. I remember early on it wasn't easy to "participate" but you are absolutely right...it did/does get easier. :D

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  8. A lovely post by a lovely lady!

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  9. Love this, K. "They talked about their kids, and I talked about mine." Getting there is a process, but I feel like I'm mostly there now... it does get easier :).

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  10. Thank you so much for the lovely comments - I really appreciate it
    Also great to see what a common experience that of being an outsider is

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